Why do you collect by date/mintmark?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by hotwheelsearl, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Cheap edited

    I used to be a completionist, and really desired to collect every single date and mintmark of a particular series.

    Later, I realized that this was sort of pointless to me, since every coin looks identical, for the most part.

    Same with my US money collection - I used to collect every single date and district for each denomination - until I realized they all look the same.

    These days, I generally collect international coins and currency because they actually look different from each other.

    So I ask you - why do you desire to complete a date and mintmark set, instead of a type set, for example?
     
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  3. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Well-Known Member

    Best Answer
    Well, the answer to your question is both simple & very complex, at the same time!

    The thing is, while we all commiserate here on CT & other on-line sites, & at coin shows, & at coin clubs, & at (fill in the blank)...this sport/hobby is a very personal matter for each & every one of us, & for different reasons.

    If there's a million of us doing it, then there are a million different collections. If there's 10 million of us, then there's 10 million different collections. Hell, we can't even all agree on grades, & by a fairly wide margin. Or values, etc. And some of us collect only by certain grades. Some collect slabs & some won't touch a slab.

    But one thing we do agree on is our love & appreciation of the history of coins (well, except for those always posting in the "What's It Worth" forum).

    Now, a "completed" set is a beautiful thing to behold. And I don't care what the conditions (read: grades) are (..but others will, & that's OK).

    About half way into my endeavor (maybe 30 yrs ago) I had an epiphany like you:

    (yes, to you!)

    But for me it wasn't that they all looked identical, it was just the opposite. And I came to the realization that I just couldn't "get them all" no matter how hard I tried. And not just because of the cost, but because of the time involved.

    So I focused on the best & most significant specimens to me. And I've been much happier since. (I'm still dealing with my problem of not getting involved in ancients, & so still live vicariously though the posts of our great ancients collectors. I seem to have a terrible fear of starting & the associated stigma of abandoning my modern coins, &...uh, perhaps I've said too much. I should discuss this with my analyst.)

    So, we tweak our collections with our personalizations, be it notes, tokens, antiquities, lucky coins, you name it...in the end we're all both different and alike, at the same time.

    Happy collecting! :happy::happy::happy: ;) :singing:
     
  4. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    Because it isn't complete until you do, of course. :rolleyes:

    The "collect the complete set" urge arises for a lot more than coins.

    As for "every coin looks identical", if you study a coin series, you'll generally learn that that's not the case at all. Even beyond design changes (Type 1/2/3 Standing Liberty quarters) or varieties, there are often substantial differences in strike quality and luster between years or mints.

    Does this matter? Maybe not to most people -- but "most people" will think you're a little bit nutty for collecting coins at all, instead of spending them like a sensible person.
     
  5. thomas mozzillo

    thomas mozzillo Well-Known Member

    Coin collecting is fun. It's an achievement to complete a folder, no matter the value. Even with 20th Century coins, it's not easy to complete all the sets unless you've been collecting for a long time. 19th Century coins are a different matter. How many of us could afford to complete a Type coin set. Even one of each type can be a bit expensive. If it were not for the fun, I wouldn't do it.
     
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  6. Islander80-83

    Islander80-83 Well-Known Member

    The challenge, accomplishment and pleasure of completing a set the way you like it. I have a complete type set, no gold though. :(
     
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  7. Maxfli

    Maxfli Well-Known Member

    Some of us don't. I haven't collected date/mint mark sets since I was about 8 years old plugging holes in a Whitman folder. And that was a long, long time ago.
     
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  8. PlanoSteve

    PlanoSteve Well-Known Member

    Best Answer
    Well, the answer to your question is both simple & very complex, at the same time!

    The thing is, while we all commiserate here on CT & other on-line sites, & at coin shows, & at coin clubs, & at (fill in the blank)...this sport/hobby is a very personal matter for each & every one of us, & for different reasons.

    If there's a million of us doing it, then there are a million different collections. If there's 10 million of us, then there's 10 million different collections. Hell, we can't even all agree on grades, & by a fairly wide margin. Or values, etc. And some of us collect only by certain grades. Some collect slabs & some won't touch a slab.

    But one thing we do agree on is our love & appreciation of the history of coins (well, except for those always posting in the "What's It Worth" forum).

    Now, a "completed" set is a beautiful thing to behold. And I don't care what the conditions (read: grades) are (..but others will, & that's OK).

    About half way into my endeavor (maybe 30 yrs ago) I had an epiphany like you:

    (yes, to you!)

    But for me it wasn't that they all looked identical, it was just the opposite. And I came to the realization that I just couldn't "get them all" no matter how hard I tried. And not just because of the cost, but because of the time involved.

    So I focused on the best & most significant specimens to me. And I've been much happier since. (I'm still dealing with my problem of not getting involved in ancients, & so still live vicariously though the posts of our great ancients collectors. I seem to have a terrible fear of starting & the associated stigma of abandoning my modern coins, &...uh, perhaps I've said too much. I should discuss this with my analyst.)

    So, we tweak our collections with our personalizations, be it notes, tokens, antiquities, lucky coins, you name it...in the end we're all both different and alike, at the same time.

    Happy collecting! :happy::happy::happy: ;) :singing:
     
  9. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    I was always a Type collector, myself, when I did US coins. Sure, I've had some fun completing sets (Indian cents, for example, and the entire Irish predecimal coinage minus the rare 1943 florin), but generally speaking, I've never been much of a date-and-mintmark collector and prefer some visual variety, as mentioned in the OP.
     
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  10. Hookman

    Hookman Well-Known Member

    I collect silver and whatever coins catch my eye. Currently it's large Crown size coins. I buy coin albums on eBay, sometimes they're full (or mostly full) and sometimes (most times) they're not. The only collection I've completed was an album of Canadian Small Cents that was about 80-90 % full when I bought it and I've since completed it. And let me say, for me, some of those coins were expensive. The idea of paying more than $20.00 for a foreign penny did not sit well with me, but I did complete the album, and I have another of the same that I'm going to complete....eventually. I have twin grandsons that I want to give one to each of them.
     
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  11. LA_Geezer

    LA_Geezer Well-Known Member

    Others have used the C word which is the answer.
     
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  12. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I have a special interest in the Dahlonega, Charlotte and New Orleans Mints in that order. That’s why I have spent some significant money on some pieces from those facilities.

    Generally I agree with the OP that sets get to be too repetitive. That’s why I have been primarily a type collector over the years.
     
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  13. ldhair

    ldhair Clean Supporter

    I have built sets of just about everything from 1909 to date, in Dansco albums. No gold. It was a lot of fun. Today these sets are a bit of a problem. Busting up these sets to sell is a giant project that I will never have the time to do.

    I wish there was an easy way to turn that same money into nice type coins in good plastic. I need a time machine.
     
  14. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator


    Because all available examples DO NOT look identical . . . in fact, the appearances of the many available examples are so wide ranging that it is a fun challenge to try and get them all looking as close to the same as possible.

    Perhaps a boring or unworthy endeavor to you, as compared with how others feel about it, but I know some others who are so passionate about this pursuit that they pay substantial premiums for a coin with just the right look to fit the established coins in their sets.

    One notable example is a particularly attractive set of circam VF / XF standing Liberty Quarters I've watched grow over the past dozen years or so. It is an awesome sight to behold, and I congratulate the owner every time I see it with a new addition or two.

    We all have our own motivations, some shared, and some completely opposite, but achieving our goals feeds our enthusiasm for the hobby, no matter how others view them.
     
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  15. cladking

    cladking Coin Collector

    I suppose I collect this way for about the same reason the mints put dates and mm's on coins; a sort of quality control. Without dates varieties are absolutely no fun for me. Without mint marks it is more difficult to track the movement of coins and fewer coins to collect.

    There are many secondary reasons as well.
     
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  16. Derek2200

    Derek2200 Member

    The quest for better date coins and investment in lower pop coins and popular mints like Carson City Issues.
     
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  17. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    If I don't have every date and mintmark than my set is incomplete. When I have them all I feel a great sense of accomplishment.
     
  18. TheGame

    TheGame Well-Known Member

    I do something that not many people do, and collect all modern circulating world coins by date and mint. Why? Because it's fun! I have a goal (although realistically, an impossible one) that I'm constantly working towards and I can see the progress on.
     
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  19. Jim Dale

    Jim Dale Active Member

    I have only been collecting for about 10 years after my father left his meager coin collection to my brother and I. Although there aren't many coins, there were quite a few Morgan and Peace coins. I've offered to buy my brother's coins, but he doesn't want to sell them. (I do have some of my father's WW II medals and unit patches and I think I will offer a trade for the coins.) Another hobby I have is building models. My brother said that he might trade if I build a 1967 Oldsmobile 442 for him. I will want the coins in my hands before I send him the model. I build professional level models, mostly airplanes, but I build cars and Star Trek items. I would sell the 442 for about $250, because it would look like it could be cranked up.
    Oh! Back to coins, my first coin set is the Indian Head Cents. The Whitman book I have has the 3 Flying Eagles openings. I only have the 1857 and 1858. There was only 2,000 1856 coins made and it's cost is prohibitive. For the Indian Head cents, I have coins from each year except the 1877 coin, as with the 1856 Flying Eagle, it's cost is also prohibitive. I am now working on the Lincoln, Wheat Ear Cents.
     
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  20. Stevearino

    Stevearino Supporter! Supporter

    @PlanoSteve I gave you a Best Answer for your post. I'm not sure if I have ever done that before, or if I as someone other than the OP can even do that. I like your perspective, the non-shaming of those who choose an alternate method of feeding our collecting addiction...umm habit...umm passion. Just the right touch of humor, too.

    Steve
     
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  21. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I am just like you. I have a great many Whitman and Dansco albums completed. Some of them like the Franklin half and the Presidential series make very attractive catalogs. Sad fact is though, once I complete the set I seldom view them. Wonder why I do that?
     
  22. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    You're like me, just move onto a new series and start collecting. I tend to but the most expensive coins first as they are the most difficult to find.
     
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